An unspoiled landscape of Japan
Located just below the famous Nasu landmark of Sesshoseki (Killing Stone), Shika-no-Yu is a communal bath without any accommodations. First opening in the first half of the 7th century, it has a 1300-year history. It has been recorded in the ancient chronicles that it had been visited by nobility in the Nara Era, and even in the Edo Era, it gained popularity as feudal lords from everywhere in the country came to the hot spring. It is known as a touji which refers to a bath used for medicinal effects and so its waters have been used to cure illness and injury. Long ago, it was said that an injured deer went into the waters and recovered which gave the onsen its name.
Feel the atmosphere of a spa
Since it has long had the feeling of a spa, the onsen is not a place to wash yourself so soap and shampoo cannot be used. It is simply an onsen to calm body and mind. The wooden-floored facility is divided into 6 baths for men and 5 baths for women, and each bath has its own different temperature. The kaburi-yu method is recommended as an effective bathing method. It’s a method that is quite rare in Japan but it involves ladling water over your head…200 times for adults, 100 times for children. It is ideal for ailments such as hot flashes, headaches and stiff shoulders. You can select baths from a range of temperatures from 41 to 48 degrees C (for women, the upper limit is 46 degrees). Repeat the process of soaking for 3 minutes and rest, so over a day, you can get into the bath 4 times for a total time of 15 minutes. Shika-no-Yu is also effective for overall recovery from exhaustion and promotion of health. Each of the 7 hot springs of Nasu have their own different types of water and functions so you can enjoy touring the various onsen. But since the bathrooms are not all that big, you will want to visit during the relatively quiet times such as on weekday mornings to take that leisurely soak.